Overflowing Poetry Workshops

Ted Rees Bio Pic

“I will definitely recommend Overflowing Workshops to friends. Anyone at any stage of their writing practice will benefit from this workshop— it was an overwhelmingly good experience, open but not unstructured, a great opportunity to share in-progress work and to get prompts and readings that will propel the mind forward. I felt encouraged to try new things and excited about the work the rest of the participants were doing.”- Anna Gurton-Wachter, author of Utopia Pipe Dream Memory (UDP 2019) and co-editor at DoubleCross Press

FALL 2021 Manuscript Workshop

There will be ONE Overflowing Manuscript Workshop session this autumn. As these are small workshops, please reserve your space early to avoid disappointment! 

Autumn Session: Tuesdays, November 2- December 14 at 7pm eastern— this workshop is open to any and all interested poets from anywhere in so-called North America. Poetry and hybrid-genre manuscripts are welcome.

About

Overflowing Poetry Workshops are seven-week long online workshops designed to activate new ways of reading, writing, and engaging others in dialogue about poetry and poetics. Workshops emphasize experiment, surprise, openness, and embodiment, and are thus appropriate for participants at all levels.

Each week, participants will submit poem(s) for consideration, and we will discuss each work at a group videoconference a few days later. During these 2.5 hour-long discussions, we must be critical yet understanding of the work presented, keeping in mind an emphasis on finding ways to help each participant craft the poem(s) they want to see in the world.

Prompts will be provided for those who desire them, and related supplemental poetry and poetics texts will also be discussed.

While I am the facilitator of these workshops, it is important to note that I aim to create a non-hierarchical space in which to write and share that writing. Part and parcel of this approach is that dehumanizing language of any kind is strictly forbidden.

Manuscript Development Workshop

The manuscript development workshop is designed for those looking for feedback on a manuscript-length work from both a respected, experienced editor as well as fellow poets. During our time together, we will discuss the ins and outs of what makes a poetry manuscript “work,” including conversations on issues of flow, density, content, and audience. With time spent on fine details such as line edits alongside larger issues such as structure and ordering, participants will emerge from the workshop with the tools to build a manuscript for submission, if not a finished manuscript!

It is important to note that many offer manuscript consultation services, and while these are valuable, I personally feel that hearing from both someone who has guided a number of manuscripts to print as well as potential reader-poets is a more collaborative and intuitive method of manuscript development.

As an editor, I have worked with manuscripts ranging from finalists for the National Book Award to hermetic works that have purposely eschewed even the most independent strains of the poetry world. I am looking forward to reading yours!

I read each manuscript multiple times, and give detailed feedback catered to your concerns and my own intuitions. 

“I went in with a mss that I thought was about 95% done; this workshop really helped me overview my work with new thoughts and questions. Of course, a variety of eyes reading and critiquing the work brought me to those conclusions, but I think the reason for this was the workshop’s largely non-hierarchical structure. I largely brought myself there with the insightful pre-workshop questionnaire. Ted’s gentle, yet decisive guidance during the actual workshop moved through my list of concerns and questions in an organic motion. Previous workshops often felt interrogative at worst or cloud-like and New Agey at the other end of worse, lol. I felt totally complete after two rounds of workshop…and the second revisiting was even more helpful than I imagined it being. It was very constructive to hear everyone’s reaction to the changes made over the course of the workshop.” – Ryan Skrabalak

“The workshop environment was really warm…it felt meaningful to have really smart writers and thinkers spend time with my manuscript, and me with theirs. One of the best parts is that Ted is super well-read, and so as a facilitator has a wide range of knowledge to pull from, books to recommend, and
connections to make!” – Ariel Yelen

Cost

Workshops operate on a sliding scale payment option of $210-330 for each seven-week workshop session. A deposit of $50 is needed to reserve a spot in a course, and is applied toward total payment. Alternately, the total cost of the course can be paid up front. Returning students can take 10% off the cost of any workshop.

Payment plans available— please ask about options in your introductory email. Otherwise, payment in full is due by the start of the first workshop session.

In the case of withdrawal or the need to drop the course, classes will be prorated minus a $25 processing fee.

A portion from each participant’s enrollment will be donated to the National Bailout Fund. More than $700 has been donated to the National Bailout Fund, Philly Bailout Fund, and other abolitionary groups since the workshops began in Summer 2020.

How to Enroll

To enroll in a workshop, email meltingglaciers [at] gmail.com, remembering to note the workshop session in which you are interested. I will then send you information about where to direct payment as well as a questionnaire.

About Your Facilitator

Ted Rees is the author of Dog Day Economy (forthcoming from Roof Books in 2022), Thanksgiving: a Poem (Golias Books 2020), and In Brazen Fontanelle Aflame (Timeless, Infinite Light 2018). He is also the author of numerous essays and continues to publish poetry quite actively, with examples appearing on the Other Writings page.

Ted has facilitated numerous workshops at Temple University as well as Philadelphia’s Blue Stoop writing community, and has also led craft sessions at the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers House. He was on the editorial board for Timeless, Infinite Light from 2015- 2017, and became Editor-at-Large for The Elephants in 2018. Currently, he co-edits Asterion Projects with Levi Bentley, and is collaborating on editorial projects with David Buuck as well as Brandon Brown.

More Praise for Overflowing Poetry Workshops

“Reading outside of the canon is something I strongly believe in, and this workshop was great at fostering that practice. Ted also ‘line-reads’ amazingly in his weekly notes—something that is invaluable for the writer, that is, to be reading someone else’s reading.” – Jennifer Soong, author of Near, At (Futurepoem 2019)

“I had a great experience in the workshop. I found the social environment to be kind and generative, and [Ted’s] facilitation gave the time we spent workshopping poetry necessary structure while still allowing for that process to be a fully developed group endeavor. I also felt the workshopping was decidedly not meritocratic, and that there was earnest and genuine engagement across various levels of training, approaches, and styles.” – Nora Treatbaby, author of Hope is Weird (Other Weapons 2020)

“I found the writing prompts incredibly helpful and instructive…That and just the earnest, dedicated readership of both [Ted] and other participants.” -Blanche Brown, author of Consider the Oyster (New Michigan Press 2020)

“Ted is an enthusiastic, warm, knowledgeable, organized facilitator. My experience of the workshop was that it drew similarly engaged, careful, thoughtful poets whose work I was interested in and galvanized by, and it encouraged me in my own practice. I look forward to taking another in the future!” – Melissa Mack, author of The Next Crystal Text (Timeless, Infinite Light 2018)

“Having the companionship and attention of a group of invested poets weekly provided a container for me to prioritize goals in my writing practice, while proliferating poetic possibilities and interpretive frameworks.” – Chip Chapin

About the Name

The name of Overflowing Poetry Workshops arrives from a quote by French poet-scholar Jean-Luc Nancy in his collaboration with Virginie Lalucq, Fortino Samano: The Overflowing of the Poem.

“Why are there poets? Useless to add at such times of so much anguish. It goes without saying: the why of poets is to lament (not to question) anguish itself. They tell us why and what for, for what reason and to what end language neutralizes itself and is absorbed, slipping away, overflowing. Language evades its office, namely to make things seem so much like things and the world so much like a world, and we suffer when they do not seem like themselves.

But poets also tell us that it gets this way because there is no such thing as so much like that, not for things, not for the world. That is where language wounds us: the thing so much like a thing has instantly become something else.” – Jean-Luc Nancy (trans. Gallais & Hogue)

As there are multiplicities of poetries and approaches to the poem, these workshops begin from Nancy’s suggestion that poets assist in comprehending language’s “overflowing” characteristics.